Day 1: New Years Eve
The flight to LA was pretty uneventful. We met a very nice family towards the end of the flight
with two very cute, but very chatty little girls. Thankfully we didn't engage them in
conversation until the end of the flight!
We got off the plane and it was pouring rain! Not deterred, we walked right on down
to the baggage claim then to the Hertz rental center.
It took all of 5 minutes... We didn't know it was possible to get out of LAX that quickly!
At the rental car place, we were helped by a very energetic salesperson who kept trying to
get us to upgrade the car and insurance... wouldn't take no for an answer. All we wanted
to do was use our free car rental certificates and get out of there!
We finally got a car set (in the rain) and when Jimmy jumped in it, it had a
handicapped brake system. So, another 10 minutes and we had to switch cars...
but we did get a GPS system out of it.
The Handicapped Car
Finally in the car, we head towards our hotel. We had reservations at "The Vibe Hotel"
which is a hostel-style place on Hollywood Blvd. On their website, it looked like a really
hip, cool place to be and it was VERY affordable. After missing it a few times, we finally
locate the place and drive on in. To say we were underwhelmed is an understatement. The
place is pretty run down and full of shady characters. Jimmy walked in to the
front office to get the room... but they had lost our reservation. As they scrambled to
figure out what happened (something about the "last girl working there" not doing a good job),
we decided that the place was a little too scary to stay at... especially considering their
rather suspect recordkeeping systems. Who knows how the rest of the place was run.
After 10 minutes with still no room figured out, we headed to a local Starbucks to regroup
and figure out what we're going to do. We got a call back from the Vibe about having two single
rooms for the night then a private room for the other nights... but by then we were
pretty convinced that we needed to find alternate arrangements.
Hanging out at Starbucks
A quick search on the Internet showed some Best Western rooms available. We called and found
a hotel on "W Century Blvd" which to us sounded like Century City. Even the map showed
it was right off the highway approximately close to the highway we had previously been on.
However, once we mapped it on Google, we realized that it was not in the Hollywood area
we wanted to be in, but rather right next to the airport. Thankfully we had already booked a
Still determined, we found out that we could cancel the reservation for the other nights even
though we were locked into New Years Eve. So we found another hotel in the Hollywood area
that was actually CHEAPER than the first and booked it for the remaining nights.
We left Starbucks and headed south to our one-night stay at the Best Western near the airport.
While it was twice as expensive as the first hotel, it should have many more amenities. During
check-in, we requested Internet service in the room... and after several minutes of
confusion, they assigned us a room. We headed up to find that not only could we not
connect to the Internet, but there wasn't even a place to plug in the cable! We called
down to the front desk and even went into another room to try it there... but no luck. We are
stuck to have to go down to the lobby to get online.